Livingston 2 Falkirk 1: Bairns trip up in play-off race

Falkirk's Craig Sibbald is fouled by Callum Fordyce of Livingston. Picture: Michael Gillen
Falkirk's Craig Sibbald is fouled by Callum Fordyce of Livingston. Picture: Michael Gillen
0
Have your say

Peter Houston admitted that Falkirk face a tough fight if they are to secure a Championship play-off place after losing to basement boys Livingston last night.

Two Danny Mullen goals were enough to cancel out John Baird’s penalty and hand the West Lothian side victory.

John Baird scores from the penalty spot to level the game in the first half. Picture: Michael Gillen

John Baird scores from the penalty spot to level the game in the first half. Picture: Michael Gillen

The Bairns remain in fourth place, two points ahead of Queen of the South, who play Rangers tonight. The Dumfries club also have the advantage of a game in hand.

“I thought the team that showed more hunger won the game,” said Houston.

“The goals that we lost were criminal. We lost one from a long throw in the second half, and before it we miss a golden opportunity to go 2-1 up - one that John Baird should have scored.

“We didn’t show any of the quality that we have up to this point. We’ve clawed our way into this play-off place, only for it to be swiped away tonight.

“We’ve got a tough run-in. Certainly, if we want to get into the play-off place we need to beat Queens on Sunday and Rangers or Hibs.”

Falkirk were missing star striker Rory Loy but welcomed back captain David McCracken. They started the game strong favourites but found themselves a goal down after nine minutes when Mullen volleyed home from Keaghan Jacobs’ cross.

The Bairns looked deflated from the early setback but gradually took control of the match and were handed a lifeline when Callum Fordyce clumsily brought down Craig Sibbald in the box two minutes before half-time. Baird made no mistake from the penalty spot to claim his ninth goal of the season.

The striker should have put Falkirk in front shortly after half-time when he found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Darren Jamieson. After knocking the ball past him, Baird stabbed the ball home from a tight angle - only to see it come crashing back off the post.

A third goal always looked likely and it was the hosts that duly provided one just moments later. A long throw from Hippolyte was flicked on and Mullen easily nodded the ball past Jamie MacDonald from five yards.

The final 30 minutes of the game was a dismal affair with several Livingston players booked for blatant timewasting.

“I thought that some of the stuff that went on tonight was incredible,” commented Houston. “The timewasting, the goalkeeper throwing into the stand and getting away with it. Yes, they deserved to win, but if that’s the way to win, it’s not for me.”